On the whole, the WCC had a rather good week. But this isn't a WCC blog, this is a Gonzaga blog. On the whole, the Gonzaga Bulldogs had one of the worst possible outcomes ever. They fell in one of their few non-conference road games to a worse team and loss Sam Dower to injury in the game.
Dower took a hard fall on a drive to the basket and landed awkwardly on his lower back/hip region. He writhed around in pain quite visibly on national television before a commercial came in to take the pain away. He was seen visibly limping on the sideline and then barely making it into the training room right after. Any sort of injury to any starter on any team is a worst case scenario. But for a team like the Bulldogs, losing Sam Dower is the worst possible outcome of all.
But enough about our pain, onto the rest of the conference.
lost @ Oregon, 100-96
The BYU Cougars crazed up and down season continued. After getting torched against Utah the week before, the Cougars went down to Eugene and nearly pulled the upset on the Ducks. BYU started off hot, led by Tyler Haws 32 points, but their double-digit lead wasn't enough and the Ducks came back and took the game in overtime. Losses hurt, but this was about as good of a loss as you will come by.
Loyola Marymount (8-4)
def. Cal Poly, 79-59; def. La Sierra, 100-83
The big players for the Lions did what they needed to do and got a new win streak going for LMU. Anthony Ireland continued his strong play in his senior campaign, scoring 20 points against Cal Poly (including six straight free-throws on back-to-back technical foul calls) and 21 points in a tune up game against La Sierra.
lost Princeton, 83-58; def. Bradley, 71-55
The Tigers got manhandled by Princeton in the first night of the Holiday Hoops Classic. Pacific was befuddled at times and couldn't' get much going offensively from anybody no matter how hard they tried. 11 different Tigers players played at least 10 minutes, but only two players scored in double-digits as the team shot 42 percent from the floor and was 3-of-12 from behind the arc. Things got a bit better against Bradley to close out non-conference play, as the Tigers held Bradley to 32 percent shooting in the win.
def. Houston Baptist, 76-64
The Waves bounced back from a loss against the Washington St. Cougars with a nice tidy win over Houston Baptist as they prepare for conference play. Stacy Davis and Brendan Lane each scored 21 points in the win, and Pepperdine needed a late run to open up the victory. The Waves outrebounded Houston Baptist 41-33 and outscored them in the pain 52-20. The inside dominance was necessary, however, as Pepperdine didn't make a single three-pointer out of seven attempts.
def. Bradley, 74-53; def. Princeton, 93-79
The Pilots played some of their strongest basketball all year as they enter conference play on a short two-game winning streak. Bryce Pressley scored a career-high 25 points in the win over Princeton as Portland upset Princeton's shot to match one of their best starts in school history. The Pilots shot 56 percent from the floor and cleaned up at the free-throw line, hitting 31-of-37 attempts.
Saint Mary's (9-1)
def. American, 59-44; lost South Carolina, 78-71
Finally. For a while there I wasn't sure it would happen, but Saint Mary's lost a game to someone they really shouldn't have.The Gamecocks aren't exactly a great team and became the first team this season to figure the Gaels out. Saint Mary's trailed at halftime by six (their first game entering halftime with a deficit), and every time the Gaels made a run, the Gamecocks were there to punch them right in the mouth.
San Diego (9-4)
def. Southern Utah, 67-52
The Toreros used a 12-0 run to head to an 11-point halftime lead and never looked back. San DIego shot 51 percent in the win with Johnny Dee's 16 points and Dennis Kramer's 15 points leading the way.
San Francisco (7-5)
lost @ St. Johns, 81-57; def. American, 77-69
The Dons got walloped by St. John's in a game that highlighted the differences between a mid-major team and the size of a big basketball school. St. John's out-rebounded San Francisco 35-24, highlighted by a 15-6 edge on the offensive glass. It didn't help for San Francisco that they turned the ball over 21 times. They cleaned up their play against American University a couple nights late, and guards Avry Holmes and Tim Derksen led the Dons to a win.
Santa Clara (6-6)
def. Radford, 75-62; def. Sacred Heart, 70-61; lost UNLV, 92-71
The Broncos had a rather odd non-conference schedule. After playing two games in the first week, they took a week off and closed out with four games in eight days. The end of that schedule took its toll as the Broncos couldn't do much to stop the UNLV Running Rebels. Jared Brownridge led Santa Clara with 22 points, but it is hard to win any sort of game when you let your opponent shoot 60 percent from the floor.